One of my fellow photographer friends, Dezra, has been posting some lovely images that reflect her artistic interest in cemeteries, one that I share. You can view her lastest [here]. She has inspired me to share one of my favorite cemetery photos as well…
Several years ago, I joined a local photographers’ club and enjoyed the company of a number of like- (and a few not-like-)minded fellows until my job was unceremoniously yanked out of the Midwest and inserted into the mires of Washington, DC. But that’s another story. While I was a member, there was a weekly photo challenge, and I’d like to take you back to May 2006. I had known of the challenge (you guessed it—cemeteries) for a week, but I’d been so busy that one thing pushed out another, and I suddenly found myself getting ready for work before dawn and remembering that I had the photo club session that evening, and I hadn’t yet made the photo that I wanted to. My special photo guardian was with me, for as I took the dogs out for their morning walk, there was a lovely misting of fog, and the penny dropped, so I took my camera and tripod with me to work and stopped along the way at the place I had in mind. As I prowled around the perimeter fence (from the outside), looking for the best angle that included monument perspectives and fog in the low spots, one particular monument caught my eye—and my imagination. The family name was actually Vacanti, but it occurred to me how close this was to a common word with a rather thought-provoking meaning. I have toyed ever since with the idea of deleting the final letter, but this is the first time that I’ve given in to the temptation. Please rest assured (um, sorry for the implication) that I intend absolutely no disrespect to the family in doing so, in any way.
In working with the original color image for the competition, I used my Photoshop Elements software to (1) convert it to monochrome, (2) render it as a negative, and (3) solarize it. My final image impressed the judges and won first place. Hope you like it too!
eerie and awesome!
Must say I did intend a touch of the eerie. Thanks for the compliment!
Love your processing choices. You have really made this into something spectacular!! It gives me chills!
Oh! Tank you so much! Let me Count the ways that I like to please you (in my best Transylvanian accent)! One, two, trree…
LOL!! Is that a Sesame Street reference?
But of course! The Count has always been one of my favorite characters, and whenever I hear Doing the Batty Bat, I tend to laugh so hard it’s hard to keep my balance…
But of course! I am laughing so hard now that I’m going to pee my pants!! LOL
Very nice…hopefully nobody is rolling over in their graves at what you did to their name. :)
Thanks for that, Scott–that did cross my mind, hence the disclaimer. I’m surely not the first to have made that connection…
Clever. I like it.
Very well done……some folk are critical of the use of post processing. Not me, what ever you do in photoshop (or whatever software you use) it is you as the photographer who has to have he creative vision. Great image and well deserved award.
I’m in complete agreement. It is very rare indeed that I do this kind of PhotoShop editing (deleting or cloning out a letter in a name)–and when I do, I’ll always say it up front.
I love this. It creates a chilling mood and allows the imagination to wander through the cemetery. The low fog is especially nice. I keep wanting to find a cemetery when there is low fog, but I haven’t been successful since I’m usually on my way to work during that early hour. I don’t have an issue with manipulated photos as long as it’s recognized as manipulated—I do it all the time to achieve an emotional response. And thanks for the mention! I appreciate it.
You are most welcome! Back before I embraced digital photography (in 2000), I had a full black-and-white darkroom, and I had some grand adventures with classical solarization techniques. I’ve hardly ever used the PhotoShop equivalent, but it really worked for this image. It seems that the term “manipulation” carries sort of a negative connotation, and I tend to shy away from it. To achieve the image that I visualized when I made the original exposure, I took it through several stages of alternative post-processing development (and listed them in my post). In the resulting image, nothing is present that was not at the time of capture. As for my removing of the letter “i” in the name on the stone, that’s another matter, and I will always freely acknowledge such a radical step when I decide to take it. In this instance, it was a bit of whimsy to add a touch of (albeit slightly macabre) humor. Delighted that you like it!
I like the humour. Amazing how the simple deletion of one letter can turn a creepy graveyard into something to smile at. I think the souls lying beneath must have derived plenty of laughs from their name while they were alive and would appreciate your little joke! Great work.
Cemeteries are fascinating places, I like them for the historical record they keep and as ours in the UK tend to be less well looked after than the one here they are full of wildlife too.
I really believe that they would have enjoyed my little jest, or at least would not have minded–if they weren’t too tired of having fun poked at them in past years. I’ve seen some fascinating monuments in the UK, too, and am thinking I should air a few of them. Thanks for the reminderm, Finn!